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Durham University

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Cosmic Architecture – A Free Public Symposium

9th March 2017, 15:00 to 18:00, Applebey Lecture Theatre, Geography (West Building), Lower Mountjoy, South Road, Durham

This symposium forms part of the celebrations of the opening of the new building for the Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics designed by Daniel Libeskind. Five speakers (Professor Carlos Frenk, Daniel Libeskind, Professor Hiranya Peiris, Professor Mark Hannam and Lord Martin Rees) will explore a diversity of topics, from the major research themes pursued at the new building, through the relation between architectural time and space, the international nature of science and the recent discovery of colliding black holes, to the prospects for achieving a deep understanding of the nature of our Universe.

This symposium forms part of a series of events offered free to the public to celebrate the opening of the new Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics.

Please note that although free to attend, you will require a ticket. Please book your free ticket online . For further information please call +44 (0)191 334 9354.

Topics and speakers are:

Cosmic Architecture
- Professor Carlos Frenk (Durham University)

Time in space
- Daniel Libeskind (Studio Libeskind)

Cosmic collaborations
- Professor Hiranya Peiris (University College London/Oskar Klein Centre)

Gravitational waves: the soundtrack of the Universe
- Professor Mark Hannam (University of Cardiff)

Progress and prospects – what will we learn in the next 20 years?
- Lord Martin Rees (Astronomer Royal, Cambridge University)

Carlos Frenk is the Ogden Professor of Fundamental Physics and Director of the Institute of Computational Cosmology of Durham University. He will summarize the tremendous progress over the past few decades in attempting to answer some of the most fundamental questions in science. How and when did our universe begin? What is it made of? How did galaxies and other structures form? He will introduce the major research themes at the Ogden Centre: the origin and evolution of cosmic structure, the physics of dark matter and the properties of dark energy.

Daniel Libeskind is a world-renowned architect based in New York. In this talk he will present three key projects: The Ogden Center for Fundamental Physics at Durham University; 18.36.54, a private home; and Memory Foundations, the Masterplan for the World Trade Center site in New York City. He will explore relationships, positions and coordinates of architectural time and space both conceptually and physically. Libeskind believes that buildings are crafted as practical, yet poetic meaning, and that they communicate the greater cultural context in which they are built.

Hiranya Peiris is Professor of Astrophysics at University College London and Director of the Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmoparticle Physics in Stockholm. She will argue that modern fundamental physics contains ideas just as revolutionary as those of Copernicus or Newton that may radically change our understanding of the world, such as extra dimensions of space or the possible existence of other universes. In the past decade scientists from across the world have worked collaboratively to decipher some of the mysteries of the Universe, finding accurate answers to age-old questions, such as how old the Universe is and what it contains. Peiris will review recent discoveries and new mysteries that have been uncovered, emphasising that international cooperation is a necessary part of humanity's efforts to understand the Universe.

Mark Hannam is Professor of Astrophysics at Cardiff University. He will discuss the recent discovery of gravitational waves. Gravitational wave detectors are like microphones, sensitive to the vibrations of space and time produced by the most violent events in the universe. In September, 2015, the LIGO detectors recorded the sound of two black holes colliding. He will tell the story of how those sounds were made, how they were detected, what they tell us, and what we hope to hear in the future.

Martin Rees is the Astronomer Royal and Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge. He will argue that Astronomy is in a golden age. Powerful instruments have led to astonishing progress in tracing the emergence of atoms, galaxies, stars and planets from a mysterious `beginning' nearly 14 billion years ago. Unmanned spacecraft have visited the other planets of our Solar System (and some of their moons), beaming back pictures of varied and distinctive worlds. An exciting development in the last two decades has been the realisation that many other stars are orbited by retinues of planets - some resembling our Earth (and capable of harbouring life). These advances pose new questions: can we understand at a deeper level why the Universe is the way it is?

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